Daniel Koellerer, an Austrian tennis player once ranked No. 55 in the world, has been banned from the sport for life for match-fixing.
The player, currently ranked No. 385 on the ATP World Tour, was also fined $100,000 for three offenses against the sport’s anti-corruption program, the London-based Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) said in an e-mailed statement today. The TIU was formed by the International Tennis Federation, the ATP World Tour, the WTA Tour and the Grand Slam Committee as part of the Uniform Tennis Anti-Corruption Program.
“This is a massive shock,” Manfred Nareyka, Koellerer’s manager, said in a telephone interview. “This investigation has now been going on for a year and a half. It has affected him making a living. There is no proof. I distance myself from any form of match-fixing.”
The 27-year-old player was found guilty of “contriving or attempting to contrive the outcome of an event; soliciting or facilitating a player not to use his best efforts in an event; and soliciting, offering or providing money, benefit or consideration to any other covered person with the intention of negatively influencing a player’s best effort in any event,” the TIU said. The violations took place between October 2009 and July 2010.
Nareyka said Koellerer has 20 days to appeal the decision.
“We’re looking into it now,” he said. “He isn’t sure if he can afford the legal costs. He is going to become a father in July. It is very difficult.”
The TIU, headed by former Scotland Yard detective Jeff Rees, was founded in 2008 after suspicious betting on a match the previous year. More than a dozen players said publicly that they had been approached to throw matches and the tour banned three Italian players for betting.
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